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Met police referrals for Partygate top 100 — Analysis

A new round of fixed penalty notices has been issued by the UK Metropolitan Police to officials of government who have violated lockdown regulations. The total amount of these fines now exceeds 100 according to a statement released Thursday by the agency.

This announcement is less than one month following the previous round of fines issued to BYOB attendees who were present at a May 2020 party attended by Boris Johnson. Attendees were invited to that gathering for “This evening, socially distant drinks were served in the No.10 Garden,” and the PM acknowledged his own attendance, insisting he believed “This was implicitly a work event.

Police had refused to say anything regarding the latest round of FPNs in the days preceding last Thursday’s local elections, even as reports began to trickle out that officials were being fined for the party. In explaining their decision to wait until May 5, the authorities used restrictions on communicating prior to the vote. 

Johnson was not fined for the May party, and has thus far only received one £50 FPN – for attending his own birthday party in June 2020. The police have been investigating a total of 12 events for potentially violating Covid-19 restrictions, including a so-called ‘Abba party’ which Johnson insisted was a permitted work event despite the loud music heard emanating from the Downing Street flat at the time. 

While the PM’s defenders have attempted to downplay the violations, Labour leader Keir Starmer has demanded he resign along with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who was also fined for attending the PM’s birthday party. No sitting PM had previously been found guilty of breaking the law, the PM’s detractors point out.

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Most Brits want PM to go – poll 

Fewer than a quarter of Britons polled last month said they thought Johnson was telling the truth when he said he didn’t realize the party he was attending was illegal, and nearly half of respondents suggested he should resign – including a quarter of those in his own Conservative Party. 

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